Ardern: Trump claim of 'big surge' in coronavirus cases in New Zealand is 'patently wrong' | TheHill – The Hill

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday refuted President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo — Michelle Obama shines, scorching Trump Trump lashes out at Cuomo after his Democratic convention speech Biden seeks to win over progressives and Republicans on night one MORE’s claim that her country is having a “big surge” in coronavirus cases.

Ardern called the assertion “patently wrong” when addressing reporters and argued the two countries are not comparable in their handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I don’t think there’s any comparison between New Zealand’s current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases that are being seen daily in the United States,” the prime minister said. “Obviously, every country is experiencing its own fight with COVID-19. It is a tricky virus, but not one where I would compare New Zealand’s current status to the United States.”

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“We are still one of the best-performing countries in the world when it comes to COVID,” Ardern added. “Our workers are focused on keeping it that way.”

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Trump made his remarks during an event in Mankato, Mich., saying that New Zealand was experiencing a “surge” after Ardern had announced a delay in the country’s election by four weeks due to recent outbreaks in Auckland. 

“The places that they were using to hold up, they’re having a big surge. And I don’t want that, I don’t want that. But they were holding up names of countries, and now they’re saying, ‘Whoops!’ ” the president said Monday.

“Like even New Zealand, do you see what’s going on in New Zealand?” he added. “They beat it, they beat it, it was like front page, ‘They beat it,’ because they wanted to show me something. The problem is — big surge in New Zealand. So you know, it’s terrible.”

On Monday, the day of Trump’s comments, New Zealand recorded nine new cases, compared to the U.S. which confirmed almost 42,000 new cases, NPR reported

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Overall, New Zealand has counted 1,643 COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The U.S. has documented more than 5.4 million COVID-19 cases and more than 171,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The mortality rate in New Zealand amounts to 0.45 deaths per 100,000 people, while in the U.S. the rate reaches 52 deaths per 100,000 people.

New Zealand has been praised during the pandemic for its response and strict coronavirus restrictions after it has held a maximum streak of 102 days without confirming a case until last week. 

Four new cases surfaced in Auckland, leading the prime minister to lock down the area, require people to stay home from work and school and forbid people from gathering in groups of more than nine people. New Zealand has 90 active COVID-19 cases. 

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